Mulberry MONDAY night's really magnificent A. broadcast of a theme that might well defy the most expert of writers and producers drives home the truth that the conceiving, planning, constructing and placing of the Mulberry harbours was by far the greatest single achievement of the war strategically, tactically, industrially. inventively, and any other ly you care to name. And by no means the least effective part of the broadcast was the biting sarcasm about those who were calling for a second front from a senile Government while the work was being achieved. The B.B.C. continues its good service of criticising demagogy, though whether it is doing so purposely or accidentally I don't know.
The Latest Complaint IT takes all sorts to make a world, they I say. I had to rub my eyes very hard, however, when I was trying to read a letter sent to me last week which began: " Sir,—Your fairly frequent culogie's of the sinister sadist Stalin come rather strangely from one who is supposed to have been to Stonyhurst and doffed his mental napkins. What your ' game' can be I cannot even guess. Like all editors, it is quite obvious you never read anything, least of all THE CATHOLIC HERALD. .
Windows on the Continent SHORT of going abroad (for which, alas, I have no time) there is no better way of getting again the feel of the Continent than to read and Male its latest papers. This week many veils seemed to me to have been torn away, first by receiving the first issue, after four years' .silence. of the great Paris Jesuit review, Etudes, and next by handling the Italian Catholic dailies, 11 Popolo and Quoddiarro, with issues as recent as March 1.
How intelligent the French are! Though I have only had time to finger Etudes I can at once detect a level of scholarship and thought to which we only rarely attain. A cursory reading of a long discussion of the French con
science since 1940 already thiows a flood of light on the Petain-de Gaulle issues is they presented themselves to Frenchmen in France.
The Italian single large sheets, extremely well-printed on fair paper, maintain at least the old advertisements. Dott. Grand'Uff. David Strom will still see to your " Emorroidi " (in large capitals), as no doubt he has been doing for years of Fascism or Democracy. That is a comfortable reassurance. A gentleman writes sadly about having to wait all night in queues for tickets to Naples, as the office opens at six in the morning. Very reasonably he suggests that an opening in the afternoon would spare the travellers a night in the street and the local inhabitants the row made by these queuing-up. " Autopulimans " to Naples, Florence and Bari sound more luxurious than they probably are. Rations news sounds as frightful as it is. And Rome is seeing In Which We Serve. And since the world is small, I ant not so surprised to see a large featured article asking whether Dora Labouchere (who happens to be a cousin of mine) was murdered? Why didn't the dog bark? And Why didn't she cry out?
Beyond Words S0 Mister Driberg talks in Parliament of " that disreputable rag, the Weekly Review." I wonder if he would have dared to risk in Chesterton's lifetime an impertinent slander like that on Chcsterton's paper I But, maybe, G.K.C., who thought F. E. Smith worth crushing with classical scorn, would hardly have bothered to immortalise Driberg through his writing. Some people are very literally beyond words. .
Black and White WE don't trust the protests about Poland of the old Tory appeasement gang with its black record ' state the champions of the Left who to-day betray millions in Poland and the Baltic into a servitude at least as real as any into which the Albanians and Abyssinians were once delivered. Allowing the truth of their claims it still seems to me preferable to 'be white to-day, even if one were black yesterday, than to have been white yesterday only to become black to-day.
He Who Takes Vengeance READING Fr. Gerald Vann's rc" marks last week on Max Plowman's pacifism and its origins in Blake reminded me of that prophetic poet's timely passage in Jerusalem about war and vengeance.
" What shall I do? What could I do. if I could find these criminals?
I could not dare .to take vengeance:
for all things are so constructed And budded by the Divine hand that the sinner shall always escape: And he who takes vengeance is alone the criniinal of. Providence.
If I should dare to lay my finger on a grain of sand In way of vengeance, I punish the already purzish'd.
O whom Should I pity if I pity not the sinner who is gone astray?
O Albion, if thou takest vengeance. if thou revengest thy wrongs.
Thou art for ever lost! What can I do to hinder the Sons of Albion from taking vengeance or how shall I them persuade?"
Experts with the Sword THE expertise in the wielding of the ▪ sword which marks our Catholic soldiers overseas is really admirable. I am referring of course to the "sword" of the Spirit. The Sword, first number of a Monthly Chronicle of a Sword of the Spirit Group C.M.p.," has just arrived. Its general secretary accompanies it with the information : " A few enthusiastic members got together
last June in North Africa and started the Group. though it that time it did not have a large follawing. Sine* arriving in Italy, however, we have a room at our disposal and hold meetings each Friday evening at which talks and discussions take place on a wide range of subjects. On Sunday evenings we have a Study Circle, which meets to study apologetics. Our room is open at all times for reading and writing and we have good collection of Catholic papers, pamphlets and books for those interested. We now have over 40 enrolled members, although we get non-members (and some nqn-Catholics) to our meetings. Our chaplain always attends these and they are quite popular. In addition, we have a Plain Song choir which practises each week and sang the Mass at midnight at Christmas—their first publiceppearance."
The "Mary Tudor" Play ALKING of B.B.C. drama; I read a every good letter in the Mancaster Guardian, by May Agate, a Unitarian, who appeared in the play Mary Tudor. May Agate is answering some bigoted protesters against the sympathetic treatment of the Catholic Queen and the incidental criticism of Elizabeth. The play was in fact written by a Protestant, and May Agate is surely right in Underlining the point ,that, historical questions apart, this is not the time to raise bitter feelings between Christians.